Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Those who are true

I would have posted this yesterday but Alltel's system was down.

7/23/07 Monday
I just woke up. It is 3:25 in the afternoon. I’ve got lots of catching up to do. There has been so much going on I will probably forget some of it but here’s the best I can do. First of all, WE HAVE HOT WATER!!! It’s still lukewarm but warming up. The electrician came out and ran the wires for the water heater and stove/oven.

Steve called me early, maybe 7:30 this morning. I remember telling him, in response to his “How ya doin?” question, that I was sharp and energetic, that it was one of those mornings I enjoy having. Steve let me know that the guy he had brought out to look at our electric needs was sending one of his employees to do the job. He showed up an hour or so later, a nice young man with a small skinny kid who was his helper. I was putting finish on the kitchen cabinets Steve and Janie bought for us when they got here. He told me his name but of course I don’t remember. They went straight to work, not wasting any time. The little skinny kid’s main job was crawling through the hot attic doing the most unpleasant part of this job.

I continued working on putting finish on the cabinets. That went well enough. After putting some on yesterday, and looking at how it turned out I decided to thin it a little with mineral spirits. As I think about this it wasn’t yesterday, it was Saturday or maybe the day before, whenever I put the stain on. Yesterday was quite a day and I will cover that in a bit. Today I had a new brush to use that helped things a lot. Seems that when I bought the finish and stain I had left this brush at the register. I do this kind of thing quite a lot being a little scatter brained. When we went back to Home Depot I asked the girl at the register what they do with stuff like that and she let me know that it gets put back on the shelf at the end of the day. She said that if I brought the receipt she could replace it cause she remembered me coming in. So I got it yesterday.

Thinning the finish helped a lot. I used the brush for the crevices and corners but used a cloth to apply the rest. This is something that I remember from the days I had a shop and did a lot of this kind of work. A cloth works better for me and puts on a thinner coat which I like better than a real thick one cause it dries better and fills the pores. I worked in the sun so I could see what I was doing better but it also meant it was a lot hotter. Cherie ran into town to take care of things around 11:00. It wasn’t too long before I was soaking wet with sweat and had to put a t-shirt on my head to keep it from dripping on the work. I pushed through to get everything done, except the cabinet in the kitchen where the electricians were working. By then I was done for. Went into the house, grabbed two glasses of tea, which I slammed down, and laid down.

I got this laptop out and ran the AVG spyware again. When I checked my E mail on Go.com I found that there was still a lot of spam being sent out from this computer or maybe from someplace else using my E mail address from the forty or so “undeliverable” messages that showed up. It found some of the same stuff it found before so I’ll restart and run the AVG again to see what comes up.

I was having a hard time staying awake and drifted off three or four times till Cherie came home. I didn’t want to fall asleep while the guys were working on the electric. When Cherie came home I got up and selected a melon along with three spaghetti squashes to give the guys and checked how the finish was drying. It looks good but I’ll have to carefully sand it before the second coat as I don’t exactly have a dust free situation out here. No problem, just a little more work. At least it is a still day with almost no wind. That is rare enough out here.

When the guys got done I curled up and was gone in a wink. Now I am back. So let’s see what I can recall of yesterday. Getting to church was an angry experience. I don’t know if I was slow at first or not but had difficulty when Cherie asked which vehicle we were taking. Come to find out she would have to clean her car out if we took it so we took the truck. Going down the road I quickly felt the low front tire I had noticed Saturday. It’s the one I had patched and was not holding air well. I had intended to air it up so it would last till this morning when I planned on taking it back in but forgot as I am so good at doing.

That was the first “Damn”. I turned around and headed into Stanton to put some air in it for the trip to church. Now we are getting late for church and I think we were anyway but don’t remember. After getting air I head for the highway but the old hot water tank, which Steve had helped me load into the truck, broke loose from the strap holding it and started rolling around in the back. Not good so I pulled over and tied it down again. That was the second “damn” or maybe third or forth. I don’t remember clearly but it seems there were several frustrating things that morning.

So we were late for church. That’s ok cause we missed the walk around and say hi part we both aren’t comfortable with. I had a hard time keeping my thoughts where they should be during the service. Worked hard to keep them in check and control. As we walked to Sunday school I had that dizzy sensation that heralds a seizure so let Cherie know. Sure enough it was a rough one. Dropped me down to a three or four on the bob scale. They always have coffee and lots of snacks before the class starts and it is a time of visiting with one another. Folks would come up to me and say “Hi Bob, glad to see you’re here. How are you doing?”. So what do you say “I’m in the middle of a partial seizure”? I would just say that I was fine, feeling guilty I told a lie but not wanting to have to explain all that. I wasn’t steady on my feet so standing with a cup of coffee in my hand wasn’t the safest thing to do so I got my seat. Besides that I wasn’t in shape to have intelligent conversation as it was. Most of these folks recognized me from before but to me they were a dizzying array of unfamiliar or vaguely familiar faces with the exception of Jen and Wally. They are more ingrained in my memory because of the several contacts we have had including when they came out to visit us at the farm.

It was a bad slowdown that got worse as the class progressed. We were to meet with Steve and Janie after church for lunch and go to Home Depot to pick out counters afterwards. Cherie asked if I was up to it or just wanted to go home. I said I could manage lunch but there was no way I could handle going into a busy place like Home Depot. Right then Janie called. After answering I just handed the phone to Cherie. I wasn’t at all up to a conversation that required any thought. Come to find out they had gotten pizza so were planning on a nice quiet lunch at their home. Just what the doctor ordered.

Being in a relaxed atmosphere with friends helped me come back from the seizure very well. By the time we got done eating the Papa Murphy’s pizza I was in good enough shape to go to Home Depot. This was the first time Steve and Janie had had Papa Murphy pizza. Frankly it was a lot better than what we used to get in Toledo, due to better staff doing a better job I’m sure.

We headed over to Home Depot after eating. The reason we needed to was they had discontinued the countertops we had chosen earlier so we needed to pick out some different ones. Getting them picked out we loaded them on my truck to take home. It was getting late…maybe. Here the memory gets a little blurred. We took the countertops home, found one was damaged, took it back and exchanged it, stopped at Steve and Janie’s to pick up the cabinet he had made for the stove/oven, and took it all home. Somewhere in all that we stopped at a place that serves chicken wings. I just can’t place when. I’ve never had wings before, at least that I can remember. They were good but a pain in the ass to eat. Too hard to get the meat out and there wasn’t a whole lot of it. Steve talked about the flavor but my sense of taste has been reduced from the brain damage so it’s not something I can really detect. But the sauce was hot and that I can taste. My sense of taste has slowly improved over the last six years as the brain rewires itself but is still not real keen. When I cooked at Cherie’s back in Toledo I would put so much spice in you could barely stand it. I would just put it in till I could taste it. Glad it’s better. You know, all this makes you really appreciate simple things we all take for granted like being able to taste or smell. That was also damaged. I have to rely on Cherie to let me know if my clothes are getting odiferous. Perhaps that’s why no one from first church of Stanton ever visited.

During all this Steve and I rode in my truck while Cherie and Janie rode in her Yukon. We got to talk quite a bit, which is nice and frankly something a little new for me, at least since I woke from the coma. Steve told me that we were a blessing for him and Janie and that they greatly enjoyed our company and were glad we were a part of their life. I let him know that they were the first real friends we have had since we came to West Texas. It was good to hear and in all honest quite encouraging. After being or at least feeling rejected by so many from Toledo to here you kind of loose your self confidence and get a little gun shy. The analogy of wondering if you smell or something is a good one to describe the inner feelings that are generated by this kind of history. Now, with the new people, and their refreshing acceptance, we are beginning to feel a lot better. It’s just good to not be alone.

I know I keep bringing this aspect up but it’s because I am so self conscious and suspicious of how others may construe thing. How I feel about all this has nothing to do with the gifts and assistance others are now helping us with. We would be just as pleased and blessed if they had done nothing but be our friends. That is priceless. Now how they honor us with helping supply our needs is a glorious testimony to their God and an example all should look to. For that I can’t say enough. Referring to an earlier comment, it’s not my “witness” but the witness of others that I am pleased to be able to write about. None of them have done things to be seen or impress anyone, they have done things out of true love and compassion. This honors and follows the teachings of Jesus and is just plain the way it should be. If all who wear the label of Christian acted and lived this way the impact on the entire world would be absolutely incredible. It would turn it upside down. But it is sad to know most are consumed by their personal needs, wants, emotions, and choose not to open their hearts as Jesus not just desires but expects. So as I seek God I am beginning to see a glimmer of hope.

This is all I’ll write for now. It’s 7:30 and I haven’t watered the plants in a couple of days. Now that things have cooled off and my headache has come down to manageable levels I’ll go take care of the garden. I fixed the hose that had broken earlier so will be able to do so.

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